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Network News: An Epitaph

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Every evening, I walk over to the TV set, and I turn on the "News". I don't know why, it's a habit. The truth of the matter, by 6:30 PM, I've already seen the news from The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Chinese Peoples Daily, Al-Jezerra, MSN, Headline News, CNN, and Fox. As I said, it's just a habit. I really liked Peter Jennings, I got to like Bob Schieffer, and I've tried to like Katie Couric, but I think that CBS has set her up for a huge fall.

Why would I say something like that? Well I don't believe they are just after Katie herself, but they could be. After was a great way to kill the "Today" Show. The worst part of the evening news, is the fluff and filler they put into it. The network's evening news programs, believe it or not, sometimes are the only news many Americans get during the week. Networks take this tiny 30 minute segment of time, and attempt to cover the entire planet's news of the day. Give me a break! Not only do they not give the news enough time, half of the stories are nothing but crappolla. Witness five minutes of Steve Hartman telling us last night about an 81 year old skier. It was a real nice story Steve, but isn't there more pressing news elsewhere? Then they had this "Freedom minute" or whatever they call it, that started out with the first airing, with the pompous Rush Limbaugh moralizing about this "War on Terror". Last night, we saw a housewife with eyes as big as silver dolars, ramble on about why her kid can't take his cell phone to school. Maybe, just maybe, because it's SCHOOL lady, and they don't want kids on cell phones walking around, bumping into everyone else, while they talk to another kid that's only twenty feet away. She claims that because of Columbine and terror, her kid has a right to call 911. She claims that there has never been a time in history when it's SO DANGEROUS to go to school. Let the kid go to school in Darfur lady, if he can find one, and during recess a pick-up with a 50 cal. Machine gun just may come through the playground and mow every child down unlil they are lying about, covered in blood. Now THAT'S a problem. But we won't hear about it while you are whining about your kids right to a damn cell phone.

So this is your "responsible" news reporting, Katie? Is this what you meant when you claimed "I know news" during your build-up to the show. It's crap. In fact all the major networks have nothing but crap for news. It's all sound bites and fluff. Gone are the hour-long newscasts with people like Walter Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley. We still see Laura Logan and Christiana Amanpour occasionally report from a hotspot, but it's a two or three minute rarity. I want to say this, Katie, you are no newswoman, and the show you are on, is not an evening news show. Thirty minutes, between commercials and fluff, gives you maybe eleven minutes. That is not enough time to explain much of anything to people. I've seen more news on Entertainment Tonight. I think from now on I'll just watch PBS and Jim Lehrer. PBS still has an hour, and it's real news. ABC, CBS, and NBC have no news, just "personalities" and commercials.

It's no wonder why many American's have no Idea what's happening half of the time. It's incumbent on the TV station to give back public service for the right to a broadcasting license. That's the law. I guess local News would fill that bill. I just want to comment on one more thing. Everyday I see commercials saying things like "American's trust XYZ network for their news , more than any other source" or crap to that effect. I say the days of television network news are gone, and the networks might as well save their money and put on another rerun of "Everybody Loves Raymond" or "Steinfeld" and save themselves the money they put into their phoney newscasts. Like many things, their time has come and gone. Sorry Katie.
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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